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Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Olney: Rivals surprised Mike Napoli didn't get offer

By Richard Durrett

ESPN.com's Buster Olney looked at four of the biggest surprises in terms of qualifying offers. He lists Mike Napoli as one that was a surprise to some rival executives that he wasn't offered a one-year, $13.3 million deal. Here's part of what Olney writes:
Napoli, 31, hit 24 homers and batted .227, with production that was similar at home and on the road. Some rival officials thought that the Rangers -- fast becoming one of baseball's most affluent teams -- would gamble on the one-year qualifying offer on Napoli, in what could be a win-win bet. If he had signed elsewhere, they would've gotten the pick, and if he had taken their qualifying offer, they would've locked in a one-year solution to their catching without having to pay out a huge contract.

As we've discussed, GM Jon Daniels said the club just wasn't comfortable paying $13.3 million to Napoli for one year, especially committing that kind of cash this early in the offseason. But he also acknowledged that this isn't a good year to be looking for a catcher. The Rangers are still interested in Napoli and hope they can get something done with the catcher. I don't blame the club for not wanting to spend that kind of money off what Napoli did last year. But it does mean that if they can't get a deal done with him, they'll have to get creative to find some catching help.

They've also got to make a decision on Geovany Soto, who is arbitration-eligible. He could cost around $5 million for one year. But that's just a guess. Texas has until the end of the month to make that call.

Here's Olney's entire report (Insider).